Jazz Appreciation Month

Jazz Appreciation Month was established to encourage musicians, schools, colleges, libraries, concert halls, museums, radio and television stations, and other organizations to develop programs to explore, perpetuate, and honor jazz as a national and world treasure.

Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Lesson Plan for Jazz Appreciation Month. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Audio | Listen  to selected Jazz performances

MY HERO Suggested Video

"Ain't Got No, I Got Life" (1968) by Nina Simone" via drMandinga

The 2021 featured artist for Jazz Appreciation Month is Nina Simone.


Download a digital copy of the 2021 JAM poster featuring Nina Simone from the Smithsonian.

Billie's Bounce

By: Charlie Parker (1945 Atlantic Music Corp)

This is a rendition of Charlie Parker's acclaimed jazz tune 'Billie's Bounce'. Nicknamed 'Bird', he revolutionized the music industry.

Wild Flower

By: Wayne Shorter (Blue Note 1965)

Wayne Shorter's 'Wild Flower' is one of the few jazz waltzes. In 3/4 time, Wayne's harmonic sensibilities really flourish throughout the chordal changes of the tune. 

Daahoud (Clifford Brown)

By: Mainstream Records (1973)

This composition by Clifford Brown was originally recorded by the Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet. We reworked it as a slightly more modern piece and extended the improvisations.

Satin Doll

Oscar Peterson performing in Montreal in 2004. One of his last performances. This performance was after his stroke and he's still rocking with only his right hand fully functional. 

Film | Watch short videos featuring the power of jazz music

Herb Alpert Medley

Produced by:Wendy Milette
Herb Alpert performs at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at the opening of the Herb Alpert Educational Village in Santa Monica.

Black/White & All That Jazz

Producer: Betty Bailey and Carol Lynde
Herb Jeffries's life is musical, colorful, and fascinating.

Reunited: A Short Film about Music and the Human Spirit

Max Thurlow, Nick Trumble

In this uplifting short film, directed by Max Thurlow and Nick Trumble, Noisey meets 93-year-old jazz pianist Edward Hardy.

Playing For Change: Peace Through Music

Producer: Mark Johnson & Jonathan Walls

Playing for Change is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.

Celebrate women in jazz with the following stories. These women overcame incredible personal odds and found strength inside themselves that translated to their moving music.

Bessie Smith

By: Student from Virginia

Bessie Smith, 'Empress of the Blues,' left a rich legacy in jazz, blues and rock and roll with her unparalleled artistry and emotion.

Billie Holiday

By: Leroux from Villeurbanne

"No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music." Billie Holiday

Jazz Musicians who have shaped our times

After gloomy Oscars, Grammys and Batiste shine

By: David Bauder Associated Press
Singer and bandleader Jon Batiste was the star of Sunday’s Grammy Awards, taking home five and giving lively performances from his album “We Are.”

Ray Charles

By: Cailah Jadyn from San Diego
Ray Charles used jazz to create a new genre of music.

Charlie Parker

By: Ben from Santa Monica
Charlie Parker known as "Bird" was a great American musician.

Benjamin (Benny) David Goodman

By: Lori from Warsaw, Ohio
Benjamin (Benny) David Goodman was an American bandleader and clarinetist who launched the careers of many major names in jazz while breaking racial barriers.

Wynton Marsalis

By: The My Hero Project
Wynton Marsalis is dedicated to passing on the benefits of music education to young people.

John Coltrane

By: Motoki from San Diego
John Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Dizzy Gillespie

By: Zach from San Diego
Dizzy Gillespie was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and singer.

Scott Joplin

By: Adam from Center Valley
Scott Joplin composed operatic and ragtime music and influenced early jazz.

Listen & Read Along

Ella Fitzgerald

By: Julie from Selden

Ella Fitzgerald was the First Lady of Song and used her success to help people of all races, cultures and beliefs.

Art | Jazz as Expressed by Visual Artists

Artists often derive inspiration from various media. This selected work shows how Jazz inspires artists visually and how heroes uplift communities. Below is photography by Carl Van Vechten and a drawing by Eddy Crosby, both showcasing women who contributed immensely to Jazz. Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James became icons in an age when African American women faced not only issues of racism and segregation, but also sexism. They helped to pioneer a world where women could be respected performers. They are honored through art. 

Hollywood Jazz, 1945-1972
Credit: Photo: Andrew Dunn/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Ella Fitzgerald

By: Carl Van Vechten

Aka First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella

Etta James

By: Eddy Crosby

American singer who performed in various genres, including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel

Louis Armstrong Portrait

By: Saint George Thompson

King of jazz

By: Mititelu Maxim

Related Pages

Song Contest 2021

Submityour song, spoken word, poem and music video!

Visual Artists inspired by Jazz

By: Giselle Villatoro
Artist often derive inspiration from various media. These are a couple painters who were inspired by Jazz.

Related Links

A Passion For Jazz: History of Jazz
Credit: A Passion for Jazz
Jazz - Film by Ken Bruns
Credit: PBS
Smithsonian Jazz
Credit: Smithsonian
History of Jazz: Scholastic
Credit: Scholastic
Jazz Foundation of America
Credit: Jazz Foundation

Our Curators


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Audio curated by MY HERO Audio director Stu Pearlman. 


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editor and Story Director Shannon Luders-Manuel. 

Organizer created on 3/16/2012 10:47:52 AM by Becky Miller

Last edited 3/4/2024 10:58:55 AM by Abigail Richardson